Feb112009

Those Pesky Side Effects

All meds, whether man made or natural, have side effects. And, if anybody is going to get them… it’s me.

So, two weeks ago I convinced my GP to let me try out Effexor XR (in another post Ill explain why I believed this could make a difference).

Within 2 days, YES 2 days, I felt no Fibro pain and had lots of energy.

Within 5 days I knew I had TOO much energy … hypomania here I come! In fact, people with Bipolar Affective Disorder are at risk for having their mania triggered by Effexor. Had to know it would happen to me. STRIKE ONE!

So, I had my GP issue a new prescription which cut the dosage in half.

Within 7 days, of starting Effexor, I knew I would have to stop taking it.

Why?

Side effects.

Imagine your skin feels like it’s on fire. Imagine it’s so dry the Sahara looks like a steamy tropical jungle by comparison. Imagine that no matter how much lotion you slather on your body: the burning hot, needle itch won’t go away.

Now imagine at the same time that no matter how exhausted you are you can’t turn your brain off … you can’t sleep … for days.

Side effects.

On Monday this week, I had been itching and desperately trying to avoid scratching my whole body for 4 days. I suspected it was a side effect but there was nothing in the drug warnings that the drug store included with the perscription. So, in a moment of genius, I decided to call the pharmacist.

She suspected the same as I did, but wasn’t certain because I didn’t have a rash. I was P’d when I hung up, went to bed, and finally went to sleep 3 hours later.

When I got up in the morning there was a message on the voice mail from the pharmacist. She had done some research. SURE ENOUGH, 4% of people who take Effexor suffer from vasodilation which causes a hot, dry, itchy feeling. STRIKE TWO!

Then later on Tuesday I decided to relook at Effexor’s side effects. Buried in a long list was this entry “trouble sleeping.” Bingo! STRIKE THREE.

So, I decided to stop taking Effexor.

But, turns out that’s easier said than done.

Next post: The joys of withdrawal!

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